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Lightning to Honor Armed Services for Veteran's Day Thursday Night

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning will honor all past and present armed service members with Military Night presented by Sykes Enterprises on Thursday, November 13 when they take on the Detroit Red Wings at 7:30 p.m. (Sun Sports, AM 620 WDAE).  Key elements will include a special National Anthem recorded at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq, a ceremonial puck drop, a Naval re-enlistment ceremony, and more.

“We at the Tampa Bay Lightning are proud of our relationship with the men and women in our military services and we are grateful for what they do on a daily basis to protect our freedoms and our safety,” said Lightning Owner and Governor Oren Koules. “With U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command and the 6th Air Mobility Wing, along with so many reservists right here in the greater Tampa Bay area, we appreciate the opportunity to publicly thank these folks for their work. Veteran’s Day gives us a reason to say thank you during this game, but we need to say thanks each and every day for what our military and our military members do for everyone in the United States.”
To kick the game off the Star Spangled Banner will be performed by Captains Roselyn Tillman and Terry Joiner along with Sergeant First Class Dennis Whitfield from Camp Victory in Baghdad.  They are each serving with the U.S. Army in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  The colors for the anthem are scheduled to be presented by the United States Central Command Joint Service Honor Guard from MacDill Air Force Base.
Following the national anthem there will be a ceremonial puck drop by Birgit and David Smith, the wife and son of the late Medal of Honor recipient Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith.  A Tampa native, Sgt. Smith was awarded the nation’s highest and rarest medal for valor in combat at a 2005 White House ceremony after he passed away in the line of duty in 2003.  His selfless actions saved 100 of his fellow soldiers while under siege at the Baghdad Airport.  Sgt. Smith was the nation’s first Medal of Honor recipient from Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Before the game a 60-second video created by the Pentagon will be displayed on LightningVision to commemorate Sgt. Smith and his family.  
The Lightning will continue to honor our nation’s service men and women with ‘Let’s Play Hockey’, as Staff Sergeant Jason Warrenfeltz will start the game.  Warrenfeltz, a Lightning season ticket holder, recently returned home from two tours of duty in Afghanistan.
During the second intermission U.S. Navy Missile Technician 2nd Class Robert Boese will take center stage as there will be a Navy Re-Enlistment Ceremony to extend his service for another six years.
The U.S. Army will have its interactive exhibit, "America’s Army Challenge Tour," on the Chrysler/Jeep Plaza.  The nationally-touring exhibit features a series of computers that allows fans to play “The Army Game”, a video game based on the Army experience.  There is also a robot PackBot demonstration and a tent with a laser shooter display.
The Lightning Girls and the Energy Team will also wear military-themed outfits.  

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